We all love what we do and are excited to meet new patients and catch up with our existing patients. We are a family business and are honored to have every patient join our family.
Dr. David A. Patton met Dr. M.W. Rhyne, Jr. in optometry school. Upon graduation, they both worked for J.C. Tumblin, O.D. in Fountain City, close to Knoxville. Within a year, their plan was in place to start their own practice, and the dream became reality at the beginning of 1978.
For many years now the practice has thrived, but that was not always the case. When Drs. Rhyne and Patton started, they didn’t buy an existing practice with an existing patient base, they started from scratch with zero patients. They started slow and fought for every patient. To this day there is still talk about being doctors/truck-farmers in the early days. While the office was getting off the ground and wasn’t producing much income (just enough to pay the bills), the doctors grew vegetables and sold them to local grocery stores for income.
At first the plan was to have multiple locations, and there were a few, including a location in Oneida, TN that went strong for 25 years. Ultimately, at least for now, the decision was made to consolidate the smaller offices into one big practice in the original location, which is Callahan Rd. in North Knoxville.
The Knoxville practice is located at 715 Callahan Rd. in North Knoxville. The road is commercial now with many businesses, but when the practice started, it was a small residential 2-lane road and the practice was the very first business on Callahan. Now that Callahan has transformed from a small back-road into a 4-lane rd, it has turned into a wonderful location with easy interstate access for the patients.
The practice is continuing to grow and we are adding doctors and staff. In 2014 Dr. Bruce D. Gilliland joined the practice. Being the primary physician in East TN treating low vision, (more serious eye diseases & vision loss) he is a fabulous addition. In 2016 we welcomed Dr. Frank A Carusone to the team. He is another great addition by specializing in Vision Therapy and binocular disorders (not how well the eyes see, but how well they function). The practice continues to grow in large part due to the addition of great doctors that not only perform general eye care but also treat the specialties that other optometrists do not.
Also in 2016, one of our original founders, Dr. Rhyne, decided to withdraw from the practice to pursue other passions. Because of this, and also the fact that Dr. Patton is already planning his retirement party in a few years (maybe we can talk him into semi-retirement!) we all felt that it was time to change the business name and re-brand for the future. Dr. Gilliland & Dr. Carusone have stepped right into place to care for our many patients and continue the wonderful care that we have always given. Fully supported by Dr. Patton, they are the future of the practice and have plans to add more doctors to the team in the future so we can continue to serve all the patients we love. We all enjoy what we do and are excited to meet new patients and catch up with our existing patients. We are still a family business and are honored to have every patient join our family. Welcome to EyeXcel.